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Deafness from within

February 17, 2022 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 421 views

SoritaHow many times have we truly made the effort to listen? How frequently have we heard the cry of the poor and underpaid workers shouting for justice? How long have we been too absorbed with our work and other preoccupations that we have failed to append some quality time talking to our children? How often have we turned to deaf ears each time our parent s counsel us on issues confronting us each day? And time and again, how many of us have fallen pray to government officials who simply don’t listen to what we have to say?

To communicate intimately with the truth of one’s heart and mind can work wonders in overcoming misunderstanding. If we could only learn to listen with the heart, then the whole of our nation will be transformed and nurtured. We should make an honest effort to refrain from listening from our own frame of reference.

The curing of the deaf mute in St. Mark’s narrative (Mk 7:31-37) is more than just a story about a person’s physical disability. Many of us, figuratively speaking, live with the same handicap. We have selectively closed our sense of hearing only to accommodate the things we would like to listen to, and have most often shielded ourselves from the pains, suffering and needs of people around us … and sometimes even to the people we spend our time with each day.

Jesus words, “Ephpheta! (Be Opened)” caused instant healing. This is the key to the art of listening. For it is in being open, receptive and sensitive to the spoken and unspoken language of our neighbor, can we truly begin to hear what they have to say. It is in opening up the narrow confines of our egos and selfish motives where the voice of our neighbor’s heart can freely talk and be heard.

And, for the sake of our nation’s future it is also high time to start supporting civil servants who dare listen to us. Stephen Covey listed down several levels of listening. Which of the following levels does your candidate belong to? Is He/She the PRETEND type of listener, one would make believe or give the appearance that he/she is listening? Is He/She the SELECTIVE type of listener, one who would only hear the parts of the conversation that interests him/her? Is He/She the ATTENTIVE type of listener, one who would really pay attention, and focus ways of trying to address your concerns? Or, is He/She the blatant IGNORING type of listener, one who would make no effort whatsoever to listen? The choice is yours, who would you vote for?

The deaf-mute was a prisoner, an incommunicado. He had nobody to listen or to talk to. The inability to communicate means isolation from the community. And, a person who is deaf from within also shares in this state of loneliness. No Man is an Island. We need to share in the lives of people around us for it is only in doing so that we can truly appreciate being part of a community and a country as a whole.

The festive mood of any Political Fanfare will really come with a bang in all its noise and awe. But it is only the good and sensitive leaders who can hear the true cries and concerns of the people shouting for genuine change and reform. So, when these laudable government officials speak, do we in return also have the time to listen to them? The healing worked by Jesus also has another meaning: it represents the victory over the inability of the human being to listen to and to dialogue with his or her brothers and sisters. In Jesus name, may we all “Be Opened!”

Pope Francis, quoting St Paul, noted that “faith comes through hearing.” In fact, he remarked, “listening corresponds to the humble style of God,” who reveals Himself by speaking, and by listening to men and women recognizes them as His partners in dialogue. Human beings are called in turn to “tune in, to be willing to listen,” as God calls them to a covenant of love. Fundamentally, the Pope said, “listening is a dimension of love.”

Linking listening to communion within the Church, the Pope said “unity does not require uniformity, monotony, but the plurality and variety of voices, polyphony.” The Holy Father continued, “At the same time, each voice in the choir sings while listening to the other voices, and in relation to the harmony of the whole. With the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us, we can rediscover a symphonic Church, in which each person is able to sing with his or her own voice, welcoming the voices of others as a gift to manifest the harmony of the whole that the Holy Spirit composes.”

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